Biography Of Ben Hogan; The American Golfer Along With Personal And Professional Information
The champion of golf, Ben Hogan, known by the nickname of “William Benjamin Hogan” was born on August 13, 1912, in Dublin(Texas). After making the record success in golf history, the artist died on July 25, 1997, in Fort Worth (Texas). He was an American professional golfer who established his superiority over a period of ten years (after World War II).
This article includes everything you might need to know about the legend Ben Hogan.
The Life of The Star from the Time Lens
Hogan was born in Texas (Stephenville) to Clara William Hogan and Chester who was a blacksmith. Before his family shifted to Fort Worth, they lived in Dublin until 1921, which is just 10 miles from the southwest.
Early Childhood and Education
His father took his own life by shooting himself with a gun when he was only 9 years old. He committed suicide in front of Ben Hogan and probably this is the reason behind his introverted personality. After the death of his father, his family faced many financial crises, and therefore, both the sons of this family decided to go for jobs to make ends meet.
His brother left the school when he was 14 and started a delivery job for some office supplies on his bicycle. Also, Ben himself sold the newspaper at the age of 9. In November 1927, at the age of 12, he began caddying (playing golf as a trainer), after moving to Fort Worth. This was the time when Hogan started his career and moved it forward.
He was terminated from school due to some inconveniences and this was the time when he played full-time golf. In 1928, he completed his first amateur tournament after doing his best but sadly, the club did not allow underage caddies to play therefore, he had to leave the club.
From here, he started attending the daily-fee course to learn baseball skills, that is: Katy Lake, Z-Boaz, and Worth Hills, and then in 1929, he got a chance to play in the tournament.
His Amazing Golf Swing
He was called the best player and known as the best ball striker who ever played golf. He is the only one of his golfer friends who opted for hard practice and became the “practice inventor”. He is a player having 64 PGA tour victories and can swing the ball with great technique. He became the “practice inventor” because Hogan was one of his golfer friends who opted to go for hard practice.
He said that:
“You all heard the stories about my brain that I have been beating my brain for practice but it is not true, I was just enjoying myself. I could not wait for the morning to hit the ball, because it is the time when I hit the ball where I want and most people did not experience this joy.”
He spent many many of his years improving his golf swing. He tried many theories and ways about the golf swing and explained some of the best ways to swing the ball. At a young age, Hogan was badly affected while hooking the ball but he did not take this injury seriously and continued practicing. This is why he was called ‘Bantman’ for showing strong willpower. Though it was a credit name, Ben Hogan never liked this name and we don’t know why!
Like many other professional golfers, he also participated in long drive contests, match play, and stroke play. Hogan thought that the swing of a person is a mess and individuals have to do more practice with hard work to clean this mess. Byron Nelson, a friend of his, told him about his hand grip as a result, he hit the snap hook of an odd catastrophe.
The Compact Personal Life of Ben Hogan
The star was a star at his home, too. Ben Hogan was equally good at managing his personal life and thus, enjoyed a stable life. He managed to live a fuller life, despite having severe accidents or incidents.
Hogan’s Wife and Kids
In April 1935, Ben Hogan married the love of his life, Valerie Fox. He saw her in Sunday school in Fort Worth and the couple never parted after. Though he felt immediate affection, he met her again during the job of his club pro and things went well from here on and they lived together for their whole lives. Ben Hogan and his wife sadly never had children and his dear wife died exactly two years after Hogan’s death.
In the year 1949 on February 2nd, Ben Hogan and his wife Clara faced a severe car accident but both survived. To protect his wife, Hogan threw himself across her. Unfortunately, his chest got punctured by the steering column, although he managed to save his life too.
This accident left Hogan with a lot of fractures in his pelvis, left ankle, and collar bone and fatal blood clots. To save the life of his wife, his courage left his wife with minor injuries but he faced the circulation problem for his whole life. He was told by the doctor that he could never play golf again or perhaps would never walk again but he was discharged from the hospital after two months. However, he surprised his fans after his amazing comeback.
He stated that:
“People have always been telling me what I can’t do; guess I have wanted to show them. That’s been one of my driving forces all my life.”
His Amazing Comeback In The Golf World
Hogan surprised his fans after winning the U.S Open Championship in Merin (Pennsylvania) only 16 months after his severe accident. Legend Ben Hogan received recognition from PGA after getting the award of “PGA Player Of The Year” for his outstanding determination, courage, and high morale.
Death Of Iron Willed Legend
After a successful life journey, at the age of 84, Ben Hogan sadly died on July 25, 199. Two years later, his wife Valerie also passed away. They both are buried at Green World Memorial Park, in Fort Worth.
Legacy And Trivia
Ben Hogan’s legacy is suspicious. “Follow the Sun: The Ben Hogan Story” a biographical film was released about Hogan’s life. There is a portrait of Hogan present there, made by Glenn Ford, in honor of Ben Hogan. There is also a special room that is dedicated to Ben Hogan’s career, his accomplishments, and his amazing comeback in golf history, present in the Arnold Palmer Center at the United States Golf Association Museum.
In his life, Hogan also helped design the original plans for the Trophy Club Country Course where there are 18 holes, and 9 of them are called the course of ‘Hogan’. Besides these, there are two Ben Hogan Awards in golf. One award is presented to the college golfer and the other is presented to that golfer who returns to the sport by overcoming any damage or hard cramp.
Ben Hogan’s Net Worth And Earning
Ben Hogan is one of the richest golfers, as earnings of his total career were $176,728,205, which is equal to 176.7 million. Because of the large number of his earnings, he became the 3rd person on the list of all-time money, which is behind Phil Mickelson who has 92.2 million dollars, and trailing Tiger who has almost 120.9 million dollars. He earned 30,400 which is approximately equal to 300,000 dollars during his career.
Impressive Professional Life of Ben Hogan
His life is full of accomplishments in in-game history, he is considered to be one of the most brilliant players in his life. Details of his awards are given below:
Ben Hogan Championships and Awards
- In 1938 he won Hershey Four-Ball (along with Vic Ghezzi) (1)
- In 1940 he won Open, Asheville Land of the Sky Open, North and South Open, Good Balm Beach Round Robin, and Greater Greensboro(4)
- In 1941 he won the Miami Biltmore International Four-Ball along with Gene Sarazen, Chicago Open Inverness Invitational Four-Ball, and the Asheville Open. (5)
- In 1942 San Francisco Open, Asheville Land of the Sky Open, Los Angeles, North and South Open, the Rochester Times-Union Open, and Hale America Open (6)
- In 1945 Richmond Invitational, Nashville Invitational, Orland Open, Portland Open, and Montgomery Invitational (5)
- In 1946 he won Golden State Open, Phoenix Open, Colonial National Invitational, Inverness Invitational Four-Ball along Jimmy Demaret), St. Petersburg Open, Chicago Victory National Open, San Antonio Texas Open, Western Open, Miami International Four-Ball, North and South Open, Good All Around Robin Winnipeg Open, Dallas Invitational and PGA Championship (13)
- In 1947 he won the Phoenix Open, Inverness Invitational Four-Ball along Jimmy Demaret, Los Angeles Open, Miami International Four-Ball (along Jimmy Demaret), World Championship of Golf, Chicago Victory National Open, and also Colonial National Invitational (7)
- In 1948 he won the PGA Championship, Glendale Open, Denver Open, Reno Open, Western Open, Los Angeles Open, Reading Open, Motor City Open, Denver Open, the U.S Open, and Inverness International Four-Ball also. (10)
- In 1949 He won Long Beach Open and the Bing Crosby Pro-Am also (2)
- In 1950 he won the award of the United State (U.S) Open (1)
- In 1951 he won the Golf World Championship, United States Open, and Masters Tournament also (3)
- In 1952 he got the award of Colonial National Invitational (1)
- In 1953 Pan American Open, United States Open, Master Tournament, Colonial National Invitation, and also won the Open Championship. (5)
- In 1959 he won the Colonial National Invitation (1)
From his wonderful career, some of his winnings detail are
1940-42, 1946, 1948 He won Vardon Trophy
1941, 1951 became Ryder Cup (player)
1946 Professional Golfers’ Association Tour
1947 become Ryder Cup (player and captain)
1948 he got the Professional Golfers’ Association Championship
1948, 1950-51, 1953U.S. Open
1948, 1950-51, 1953 he became Named Player of the Year
1949, 1967 he becomes Ryder Cup (Captain)
1951, 1953 Masters
1953 British Open
Milestones of Ben Hogan
In 1951 he went again to win the award of Masters and The United States, even though he could not play with his injured leg. In the year 1952, he played in three events only, in Fort Worth he won the Colonial at the course of his home, and in the masters, he got the seventh position.
Also in the United States Open, he achieved the third position. At the Masters, in April, despite scattered rainstorms, he used to practice the whole day, and each day he caught the best weather when playing under the gentle breeze and a sunny sky as according to him it is the best way to find the ways for playing.
At the age of 40, Ben Hogan explores too many things related to sports. He was such an amazing winner that according to the daily news of Greensboro, they reported their headline in a hurry and wrote his name “Hagen” instead of “Hogan”.
Ben Hogan’s wife Valerie said,
“Don’t pinch me. I’m afraid I’ll wake up. Ben has been so close so many times, only to see one fatal shot crumble all his hopes. Though, even in his darkest hours he’s never given up trying,. That’s why I’m so proud of him.”
After he gets his earnings, the trophy, and makes a meeting with Donald Ross architect, Hogan told someone that
“I won one just in time. I had finished second and third so many times I was beginning to think I was an also-ran. I needed that win.”
In his later years, after the last event of his PGA in 1971, Hogan became more antisocial as he was rarely seen by people. Ben Hogan retired in Fort Worth, his birthplace. At the entry plaza in Colonial Country, there is still a statue of his resemblance present there in the tribute of Hogan. Hogan was hospitalized with the cause to pneumonia for two months and dropped his 30-pound weight therefore, the year 1987 brought a lot of sorrow in his life. In 1995, he underwent colon cancer surgery and never got his previous health back. Later he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and during this critical time, his beloved wife remained his best caretaker and faithful companion.
Ben Hogan enjoyed an outstanding professional career that remained for ten years. He won nine major championships, 63 victories, and Open Titles, also he was the winner of three professional Grand Slams. In the end, the sport has moved but the perseverance and perfection of Ben Hogan remain.